Language is always generated and interpreted in a certain context, and the semantic, syntactic, and lexical properties of linguistic expressions reflect this. Interactive language understanding systems, such as language-based dialogue systems, therefore have to apply contextual information to interpret their inputs and to generate appropriate outputs, but are in practice very poor at this. This book contains a number of studies in Computational Pragmatics, the newly emerging field of study of how contextual information can be effectively brought to bear in language understanding and generation. The various chapters center around the conceptual, formal and computational modeling of context in general, of the relevant beliefs of dialogue participants in particular, and of the reasoning that may be applied to relate linguistic phenomena to aspects of the dialogue context. These issues are discussed both from a theoretical point of view and in relation to their roles in prototypical language understanding systems.
1. The ABC of Computational Pragmatics (by Bunt, Harry); 2. An activity-based approach to pragmatics (by Allwood, Jens); 3. Dialogue pragmatics and context specification (by Bunt, Harry); 4. Pragmatics in language understanding and cognitively motivated architectures (by Sabah, Gerard); 5. Dialogue analysis using layered protocols (by Taylor, M. Martin); 6. Coherence and structure in text and discourse (by Redeker, Gisela); 7. Discourse focus tracking (by Carter, David); 8. Speech act theory and epistemic planning (by Ramsay, Allan); 9. Context and form: declarative or interrogative, that is the question (by Beun, Robbert-Jan); 10. The doxastic-epistemic force of declarative utterances (by Thijsse, Elias C.G.); 11. A conceptual modelling approach to the implementation of beliefs and intentions (by Meyer, Ralph); 12. Abduction and induction: a real distinction? (by Neal, Philip); 13. Laconic discourses and total eclipses: abduction in DICE (by Oberlander, Jon); 14. Abductive reasoning with knowledge bases for context modelling (by Guessoum, Ahmed); 15. Abductive speech act recognition, corporate agents, and the COSMA system (by Hinkelman, Elizabeth); 16. List of contributors; 17. Index